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GHE UCATION OF 
CIND AND DEAF 
OF ILLINOIS 



Issued by 

JOHN A. WIELAND 
Superintendent of 
Public Instruction, 
State of Illinois 






PRINTED 

A U T H O R I T ' 

O I STATE OF 

: L I I 



LI 1A* 




AmericanFoundation 

ForTHEBLIND inc. 



HIGHER EDUCATION OF THE BLIND 
AND DEAF OF ILLINOIS 



1941 



CIRCULAR 314 



JOHN 


Issued by 

A. W 1 E L A N D 


. 


SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION 

i 

1 ,. , 


' 1 






(A-40494) 



MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR 
THE BLIND AND DEAF 

John A. Wieland Superintendent of Public Instruction 

R. W. Woolston .... Managing Officer, Illinois School for the Blind 

D. T. Cloud Managing Officer, Illinois School for the Deaf 

Grace Gentry Chicago Public Schools 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/highereducationoOOjohn 



HIGHER EDUCATION OF THE BLIND AND DEAF AND 
DUMB IN ILLINOIS 

Those who are interested in public education know that their 
goal will not be reached until equal educational facilities are avail- 
able to "all the children of all the people." Educational leaders are 
made cognizant of that fact by the constant problems which confront 
them in the administration of their duties, but never more so than 
when they contemplate the situation faced by parents of blind, deaf, 
or dumb children. It is obvious that children with such handicaps 
have as great if not a greater need for education than those who see, 
hear, and speak normally. 

It must have been then with a definite sense of duty that pro- 
vision was made to equip such children so that they might lead 
normal, useful lives in so far as possible. Since July 1, 1917, def- 
inite laws have been in force which provide for the elementary and 
secondary education of blind or deaf children or those whose vision 
or hearing is so defective as to make it impracticable for them to be 
educated in the regular public schools of the State. 

Thus, for twenty-two years, elementary and secondary educa- 
tion has been made available to blind, deaf or dumb children. But 
it was not until July 1, 1925, that provision was made for higher 
education of the blind students. None was made at this time for 
deaf or dumb students. On that date the following law was made in 
force: "There is created a board of education for the blind, herein- 
after referred to as the board, consisting of the Superintendent of 
Public Instruction, the managing officer of the Illinois School for the 
Blind, and the supervisor of the work for the blind in the Chicago 
public schools. The members of the board shall be reimbursed for 
their actual necessary expenses but shall receive no other compensa- 
tion for their services. 

"It is the duty of the board to furnish financial assistance to 
deserving blind students who have been residents of the State of 
Illinois for four years immediately preceding their application for 
assistance, and who are regularly enrolled students, pursuing a course 
of study in a university, college, conservatory of music or a normal, 
professional or vocational school. The amount of aid to any student 
shall not under ordinary circumstances, exceed three hundred dollars 
($300.00) per annum, but where the board may consider that added 
assistance is necessary, the amount may be increased to five hundred 
dollars ($500.00) per annum. Money so furnished shall be expended 
under the direction and supervision of the board. Upon presentation 
of proper vouchers certified and approved by the Superintendent of 
Public Instruction, the Auditor shall draw his warrants therefor upon 
the State Treasurer." 



The sum of $12,000.00 for the biennium was appropriated to 
carry out the provisions of this act. Records on file show that appli- 
cations of thirteen blind students were approved at the first meeting 
that the board held for consideration of such applications. The total 
amount thus allocated was $3,900.00 to be used during the school 
year 1925-1926. Of this amount, $3,839.84 was used. During the 
school year 1926-1927, twenty blind students used $7,235.76, leaving 
a balance of $924.40 in that fund for the biennium 1925-1927. 

Fifteen thousand dollars was appropriated for higher education 
of the blind during the biennium 1927-1929. Seventeen students 
received $6,029.98 during the school year 1927-1928 and twenty- 
three received $8,318.77 the second year of the biennium. The appro- 
priation was the same for the biennium 1929-1931 — $15,000. Twenty- 
two students received scholarships for the school year 1929-1930 and 
twenty-two during the following year. 

In view of the fact that the number of applications for aid was 
increasing each year, the Board for Higher Education of the Blind 
had previously requested that the appropriation be increased to 
$25,000, but it was not until 1931 that this was done. That year 
also saw an advantageous change in this law. It was made to read: 

"There is created a board of education for the blind and deaf 
and dumb, hereinafter referred to as the board, consisting of the 
Superintendent of Public Instruction, the managing officer of the 
Illinois School for the Blind, the managing officer of the Illinois 
School for the Deaf, and the supervisor of the work for the blind in 
the Chicago public schools. The members of the board shall be 
reimbursed for their actual necessary expenses but shall receive no 
other compensation for their services. 

"It is the duty of the board to furnish financial assistance to 
the deserving blind, and/or deaf and dumb students who have been 
residents of the State of Illinois for four years immediately preced- 
ing their application for assistance, and who are regularly enrolled 
students, pursuing a course of study in a university, college, con- 
servatory of music or a normal, professional or vocational school. 
The amount of aid to any student shall not under ordinary circum- 
stances, exceed three hundred dollars ($300.00) per annum, but 
where the board may consider that added assistance is necessary, the 
amount may be increased to five hundred dollars ($500.00) per 
annum. Money so furnished shall be expended under the direction 
and supervision of the board. Upon presentation of proper vouchers 
certified and approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, 
the Auditor shall draw his warrants therefor upon the State Treasurer. 

"The sum of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000.00) is appro- 
priated to the board of education for the blind and deaf and dumb 
for the purpose of furnishing financial assistance to deaf and dumb 
students as hereinbefore provided. This appropriation is subject to 
the provision of 'An Act in relation to State finance,' approved June 
10, 1919, as amended. 



"The title of said Act is amended to read as follows: 'An Act 
to aid blind, and deaf and dumb students in securing higher 
education'." 

The fifteen thousand dollars mentioned above was in addition 
to the twenty-five thousand dollars appropriated for higher educa- 
tion of the blind. 

It is in this form that the law remains. However, the next 
biennium 1933-1935 saw the appropriation cut to $30,000 for scholar- 
ships for blind, deaf and dumb students. At that figure the appro- 
priation remained until 1939 when it was increased to $40,000 for 
the biennium. In the meantime, the number of blind students aided 
increased from twenty-four during the school year 1931-1932 to 
forty-nine in 1937-1938. The number of deaf assisted has not 
varied much since such aid first became available. Eight deaf stu- 
dents received scholarships during the school year 1931-1932 and 
twelve in 1938-1939. Applications of forty-five blind and nine deaf 
students were approved for the school year 1939-1940. 

Some of the students who apply for aid have been blind or deaf 
since birth. Others report their blindness or deafness due to acci- 
dents. And still others become thus handicapped due to various 
diseases. Regardless of the duration or the cause of the handicap 
these young people are to be commended for their desire to become 
active, useful citizens and it has always been, and still is the disposi- 
tion of the board to give them every help and encouragement 
possible. 

Many of these young men and women make remarkable prog- 
ress. The courses which they take in college are about as varied as 
are those of any other group of young people with various interests. 
Some choose chiropractics; some, osteopathy; others, law; still others, 
music. Many of them take liberal arts courses; some have chosen 
dentistry. 

The amount of scholarships granted in each case depends upon 
the estimated needs of the individual. The board manages to have 
some sort of personal contact with each student to whom a scholar- 
ship is granted. Personal interviews are arranged for Chicago stu- 
dents. The member of the board from Chicago is always present 
at these interviews and is able to report on each case at the regular 
meeting of the board which is held about the middle of August for 
the purpose of considering all applications. Most downstate appli- 
cants have attended the Illinois School for the Blind or the Illinois 
School for the Deaf and are known by the board members represent- 
ing these institutions. Each case is thus given the individual atten- 
tion that is required to determine whether or not financial aid is 
deserved. Transcripts of the grades of each applicant are also 
required before his application is approved. Students deserving such 
assistance are required to give the following information: 



8 

Place of residence; age; length of residence in Illinois continu- 
ously and immediately prior to the date of application; age student 
became blind or deaf; cause of blindness or deafness; state of health; 
education already received; source of scholastic credits; choice of 
course; financial status of parents; number of brothers and sisters; 
ages of same; estimate of financial needs. In addition to the above, 
students who have previously been granted aid are required to state 
number of years that they have received scholarship; course chosen; 
length of time required to complete course; tuition charge by institu- 
tion which they attend. 

Recent rulings of the Board for Higher Education of the Blind 
and Deaf do not permit aid to be granted to any student for more 
than four years. This rule was made because the granting of scholar- 
ships for aid beyond college graduation deprived other deserving 
students of aid necessary to begin their college training. On August 
19, 1940, the board deemed it advisable to set forth the rule that in 
the event of the marriage of any student receiving a scholarship for 
higher education of the blind or deaf, such aid would be discontinued. 
This rule does not affect married persons already receiving such 
scholarships because rules which attempt to be retroactive are almost 
always unfair to those affected. 

After a student has been notified that he has been granted a 
scholarship and has been advised as to the amount thereof, he may 
file monthly expense accounts with the office of the Superintendent 
of Public Instruction not to exceed one-ninth of the amount approved 
for the entire year. Regular blanks are furnished for this purpose. 
Claims are allowed for tuition, laboratory fees, text-books, board and 
room, guides, (for the blind), readers, (for the blind), dentistry, 
supplies and transportation. The greatest amount of transportation 
allowed is to the deaf students, the most of whom attend Gallaudet 
College at Washington, D. C. Each expense account must be signed 
by the student and by the college co-ordinator or registrar and must 
be accompanied by receipts for any items exceeding one dollar. No 
expense account is approved until notification has been received from 
the college which the student enters, giving date of entrance, course 
selected, program of studies and tuition charge. Necessary blanks 
for making these reports are furnished each student. Expense ac- 
counts are allowed on the first and fifteenth of each month, but only 
one account per month is allowed each student except in cases of 
emergency. 

The board requires that progress reports for each student must 
be filed with the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction 
at regular intervals so that they may ascertain whether or not each 
student is worthy of the scholarship granted him. Records are made 
of these for reference when the board meets for the purpose of con- 
sidering applications. According to the minutes of the board meet- 
ings, very few students have been refused further aid because of 
their scholastic records. In practically every case, the students' prog- 
ress reports have indicated that their grades are above the average. 



A separate account is also kept in the office of the Superintendent 
of Public Instruction for each student. The amount granted him by 
the board is set up as a credit and each of his expense accounts 
approved is subtracted, showing the amount still due him. At the 
end of the year, his account is closed, throwing any balance he may 
have at that time back into the general fund. A complete and gen- 
eral account is also kept so that the balance available in the fund 
set aside for higher education of the blind and deaf is shown at all 
times. 

Students choose their own colleges. However, the various mem- 
bers of the board are always willing to assist them in their choice if 
they believe that it is necessary. The following tables are given in 
order to show the number of students assisted for the past four years, 
indicating the colleges attended, and items of expense allowed: 






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